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[Opinion] Politics of Unity

Posted May. 11, 2003 22:22,   


Disputes and confrontation are part and parcel in politics. If the state of division continues unheeded however, society will only end up fragmented. This is why politicians have been working hard for what is called the ‘politics of unity’. Politics is not about confrontation but about success together; this is what politics of unity is all about. Great politicians in the past honored political practices and the health of the society and state, and all come from this politics of unity.

Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, and Queen Elizabeth I of Britain are two leading figures who successfully brought about politics of unity. Mandela became president at the age of 76 after he was released from jail in 1994. Many thought he would be harsh on white supremacists that had long oppressed and used violence against black people, but he led the nation in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. "A true victory for a people once oppressed is that of forgiving their ex-oppressors," Nelson Mandela said.

Elizabeth I grew up alone amidst the constant power struggle between the Catholic Church and Church of England. It was a time of relentless conspiracies, with people stabbing their leaders in the backs right after completing vows of loyalty. She believed though that politics is about unity and getting along with each other. Driven by her faith, she was able to become not only a successful ruler but also the greatest political leader in 1,000 years. Her faith revealed itself during her farewell ‘Golden Speech’ speech to Parliament. "As you did in the past, you will see many great rulers in the future, who are far greater than I am. But none of them will love you more than I do," the queen said.

These are some examples of the politics of unity. It is good to root out the bad weeds and sow seeds for new plants, but what we need most now is a politics of unity. ‘Taking power – securing weapons – justifying one`s case – distributing values – establishing new institutions’ are part of a required process for political activities. To be successful with the process, a leader must know to embrace all. When people have strong faith in their country, the government and the president, the reform process will see success, with faith starting out with acceptance.